Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new Foreplay to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest picks we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before readers, pa rum pum pum pum
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
We’re not afraid to maim pop pearls so why wouldn’t we disfigure a Christmas classic. But please accept our apologies and our finest gifts of captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut in the newest edition of
Friday Christmas Eve Foreplay.
1. Suarez: The default captain choice from now on until proven otherwise, thanks to slew of ridiculous statistics: 18 goals in 12 games, 11 assists in 12 games, 6.4 shots and 3.2 key passes per game, 4 consecutive double-digit Fantasy scores, 9 goals and 7 assists in his last four games, and Liverpool have the second best goal rate in the league (2.47 goals per game). This is a better rate than the current Ronaldo and on par with Messi’s best numbers. It’s insane. Even away at Manchester City we feel uncomfortable not picking Suarez first, so know you are being brave captaining any other player.
2. Lukaku: The captain with the best fixture (Sunderland at home), Lukaku’s praises were sung in this week’s ATFPL Fantasy Football Squad article. He’s been consistent throughout for Everton and with 3.1 shots and 0.9 key passes per game and favourable fixtures till the end of January he’s likely to continue producing the points for Fantasy managers. With Brown missing for Sunderland they’ll struggle against Lukaku’s physicality and he’s the prime pick for those wanting to deviate from the Suarez norm.
3. Silva: Manchester City’s amazing home record, 4.38 goals per game and having never failed to score make a City player a must for the Captain Picks. With Aguero out and Negredo not as explosive, Silva is our choice. His numbers are deceiving, 4 goals and 5 assists, as they have only come from 8 games in the Premier League. That is a fine return and not a fluke as shown by his 2.1 shots and 3.7 key passes per game.
With Van Persie out and Welbeck a doubt Rooney is a shoo-in for Moyes away at Hull. Rooney’s Fantasy output is fantastic with only three blanks this season, backed up by fine statistics of 3.1 shots, 2.3 key passes, and 1.3 crosses per game. The only question mark about his pick is Hull’s defensive record at home, where they have kept 5 clean sheets and conceded only 0.38 goals per game, the best record in the league. But looking at the teams that have visited KC Stadium (nor, car, whu, avl, sun, cry, liv, stk) this should come as no surprise. Only Liverpool are in the top 10 attacks in the league so United and Rooney are likely not going to have trouble finding the net.
There are few easy picks this Gameweek but Chelsea at home against Swansea and Hazard to deliver are one of them. The one concern is rotation, as Mourinho could decide to rest Hazard and bring in Mata, Oscar, or Schürrle who all started on the bench against Arsenal. Unless you know he will be dropped he is a given.
In addition to Silva, Negredo and Toure are fine picks from City, as both have shown they can score and assist this season.
Cabaye isn’t a typical heavy hitter but well worth the look as a budget pick guaranteed to produce throughout the season. He’s taking 3.1 shots and delivering 1.6 key passes per game, justifying his 4 goals and 4 assists in the league. Add to that consecutive double-digit Fantasy returns and he lands the final spot in this Gameweek’s Heavy Hitters. We took notice of Newcastle’s performances in our What We Learned post this week.
Everton, Chelsea, and Newcastle are the best clean sheet bets this Gameweek, playing at home against teams that are offensively weak playing away from home.
Azpilicueta has started the last six games for Mourinho and could be a steal based on Chelsea’s impressive defensive performance against Arsenal at the Emirates.
The highest scoring defender, Coleman, is scoring when not keeping clean sheets and has played every minute of every league game for Martinez’s Chelsea this season. He was a great pickup at 5.0 mil at the start of the season and is arguably still value at 6.3 mil as the Everton right back sits top of our Watchlist.
Three consecutive Gameweeks of decent Fantasy output is a fantastic return for any defender, especially if you are the cheapest playing defender in a team out of the top four. Newcastle’s Williamson is that defender and is a fine pick to free up funds for an expensive front line.
The Weekend Notes highlighted Barkley’s set pieces as another reason to pick him up as your cheap fifth midfielder.
With an ownership of less than a 1.5% at the time of writing, Adebayor is an interesting differential pick as noted in this week’s Differentials.
Snodgrass returned from injury and created 5 chances against Sunderland. At 5.9 Mil, you could do a lot worse.
Big ol’ Rumbling Gut Pick
Valencia is this year’s forgotten Fantasy star. Gone are the wonder years of the 2011/2012 season where he assisted at will and come has the meager season which includes a solitary goal and assist since Gameweek 1. Give us an away game and an injury to Van Persie and he’s a perfect pick for a bunch of lunatic Rumbling Gut Pickers. Go make us proud you menacing monster from Ecuador.